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Bukowski night at Smiths!

By 22 March 2012 26

29 March 2012
6:30 pm

This has come in and is far too good not to share [Video only safe for work with headphones]

Steven Bailey and Tom O’Niel will be hosting a reading of works by the decrepit American poet Charles Bukowski at Smith’s Bookshop

Thursday 29 March, 6:30pm. Wine will be served – teetotallers need not attend.

bukowski poster

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26 Responses to Bukowski night at Smiths!
#1
phil m4:22 pm, 22 Mar 12

Where to RSVP?

#2
johnboy4:24 pm, 22 Mar 12

phil m said :

Where to RSVP?

I think it’s more a “just rock on up” kinda deal.

Chuck would not have approved of RSVPs

#3
HenryBG4:41 pm, 22 Mar 12

“Drink. Yell Poetry.”

I’m torn between enthusiasm and contempt. Mostly enthusiasm for the Drink and contempt for dated American Poetry.


with an Apple Macintosh
you can’t run Radio Shack programs
in its disc drive.
nor can a Commodore 64
drive read a file
you have created on an
IBM Personal Computer.
both Kaypro and Osborne computers use
the CP/M operating system
but can’t read each other’s
handwriting
for they format (write
on) discs in different
ways.
the Tandy 2000 runs MS-DOS but
can’t use most programs produced for
the IBM Personal Computer
unless certain
bits and bytes are
altered
but the wind still blows over
Savannah
and in the Spring
the turkey buzzard struts and
flounces before his
hens.

I mean, FFS….

#4
johnboy5:24 pm, 22 Mar 12

You wanted him to update it?

#5
SockEPuppet5:25 pm, 22 Mar 12

Although, by the sound of the poem, Arse VIPs will be more than welcome.

#6
HenryBG8:59 pm, 22 Mar 12

johnboy said :

You wanted him to update it?

Well, the daffodils are still daffodils.
There’s nothing like American writing in general to find themes and language that date at an incredible pace.
Add to that the fluidity of the english language and it really makes american-english-language poetry incredibly pointless compared with the incredible creativity that goes into poetry written in a structured language, eg,
Avant d’entrer dans ma cellule
Il a fallu me mettre nu
Et quelle voix sinistre ulule
Guillaume qu’es-tu devenu
.
.
.
Dans une fosse comme un ours
Chaque matin je me promène
Tournons tournons tournons toujours
Le ciel est bleu comme une chaîne
Dans une fosse comme un ours
Chaque matin je me promène
.
.
.
Que deviendrai-je ô Dieu qui connais ma douleur
Toi qui me l’as donnée
Prends en pitié mes yeux sans larmes ma pâleur
Le bruit de ma chaise enchaînée
.
.
.

Heh, . Another p#$%head like Bukowski…he wrote that one in gaol.

#7
justin heywood9:03 pm, 22 Mar 12

Reading some of his stuff, it seems that his chief talent was an ability to convince would-be hipsters that it was ‘hip’ to pretend he actually had something interesting to say.

The forced, self conscious laughter in the clip is a bit of a giveaway.

#8
LSWCHP9:38 pm, 22 Mar 12

Bukowski was bloody brilliant. I’ll be heading along if possible, and not for the grog.

“what matters most is how well you walk through the fire” – CB

#9
smiling politely9:40 pm, 22 Mar 12

There’s little doubt in my mind that Bukowski was a bit of an arsehole, and a lot of his writing is bleak and misogynistic. But there were flashes of brilliance, of true insight. Like his piece on Neal Cassaday when he was writing weekly for a Los Angeles street paper –

“…the only night I met him I said, “Kerouac has written all your other chapters. I’ve already written your last one.” “go ahead,” he said, “write it.”

#10
Hadley11:51 am, 23 Mar 12

IN FUTURE CAN PEOPLE ONLY RUN EVENTS IN WHICH I PERSONALLY AM INTERESTED IN? YOU HIPSTERS USING OUR TAX DOLLARS TO READ THINGS ARE MAKING ME RAGE-POOP.

#11
Jim Jones12:14 pm, 23 Mar 12

HenryBG said :

There’s nothing like American writing in general to find themes and language that date at an incredible pace.

Because America’s strongest impact on poetry was modernising what was becoming a tired artform. The impact of T.S. Elliot, Sylvia Plath, Emily Dickenson, the beat poets (Ginsberg and Ferlinghetti, most notably), e.e. cummings, Ezra Pound, Walt Whitman, etc. was all pretty progressive.

#12
astrojax12:19 pm, 23 Mar 12

well, he mayn’t be able to write but at least he was pretty. oh, wait…

i am never sure poetry should be ‘yelled’. unless it’s vogon poetry.

#13
poetix12:39 pm, 23 Mar 12

Jim Jones said :

HenryBG said :

There’s nothing like American writing in general to find themes and language that date at an incredible pace.

Because America’s strongest impact on poetry was modernising what was becoming a tired artform. The impact of T.S. Elliot, Sylvia Plath, Emily Dickenson, the beat poets (Ginsberg and Ferlinghetti, most notably), e.e. cummings, Ezra Pound, Walt Whitman, etc. was all pretty progressive.

Dickinson is God.

#14
astrojax12:45 pm, 23 Mar 12

poetix said :

Jim Jones said :

HenryBG said :

There’s nothing like American writing in general to find themes and language that date at an incredible pace.

Because America’s strongest impact on poetry was modernising what was becoming a tired artform. The impact of T.S. Elliot, Sylvia Plath, Emily Dickenson, the beat poets (Ginsberg and Ferlinghetti, most notably), e.e. cummings, Ezra Pound, Walt Whitman, etc. was all pretty progressive.

Dickinson is God.

but god is dead – nietzsche… hang on, so is emily. hmm, mebbe you’re onto something..? :)

#15
poetix1:09 pm, 23 Mar 12

astrojax said :

poetix said :

Jim Jones said :

HenryBG said :

There’s nothing like American writing in general to find themes and language that date at an incredible pace.

Because America’s strongest impact on poetry was modernising what was becoming a tired artform. The impact of T.S. Elliot, Sylvia Plath, Emily Dickenson, the beat poets (Ginsberg and Ferlinghetti, most notably), e.e. cummings, Ezra Pound, Walt Whitman, etc. was all pretty progressive.

Dickinson is God.

but god is dead – nietzsche…

hang on, so is emily. hmm, mebbe you’re onto something..? :)

*She* was onto something:

Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me;
The carriage held but just ourselves
And Immortality.

We slowly drove, he knew no haste,
And I had put away
My labor, and my leisure too,
For his civility.

We passed the school, where children strove
At recess, in the ring;
We passed the fields of gazing grain,
We passed the setting sun.

Or rather, he passed us;
The dews grew quivering and chill,
For only gossamer my gown,
My tippet only tulle.

We paused before a house that seemed
A swelling of the ground;
The roof was scarcely visible,
The cornice but a mound.

Since then ’tis centuries, and yet each
Feels shorter than the day
I first surmised the horses’ heads
Were toward eternity.

#16
justin heywood9:43 pm, 23 Mar 12

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

(The Second Coming)

#17
Jethro11:22 pm, 23 Mar 12

poetix said :

Jim Jones said :

HenryBG said :

There’s nothing like American writing in general to find themes and language that date at an incredible pace.

Because America’s strongest impact on poetry was modernising what was becoming a tired artform. The impact of T.S. Elliot, Sylvia Plath, Emily Dickenson, the beat poets (Ginsberg and Ferlinghetti, most notably), e.e. cummings, Ezra Pound, Walt Whitman, etc. was all pretty progressive.

Dickinson is God.

Look at me. I’m Angie Dickinson.

#18
Jethro11:24 pm, 23 Mar 12

justin heywood said :

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

(The Second Coming)

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe has to be in my top 3 favourite novels of all time. READ IT.

#19
SHAG11:25 pm, 23 Mar 12

This is very much a SHAG approved event.

BEER

I don’t know how many bottles of beer
I have consumed while waiting for things
to get better
I dont know how much wine and whisky
and beer
mostly beer
I have consumed after
splits with women-
waiting for the phone to ring
waiting for the sound of footsteps,
and the phone to ring
waiting for the sounds of footsteps,
and the phone never rings
until much later
and the footsteps never arrive
until much later
when my stomach is coming up
out of my mouth
they arrive as fresh as spring flowers:
“what the hell have you done to yourself?
it will be 3 days before you can fuck me!”

the female is durable
she lives seven and one half years longer
than the male, and she drinks very little beer
because she knows its bad for the figure.

while we are going mad
they are out
dancing and laughing
with horney cowboys.

well, there’s beer
sacks and sacks of empty beer bottles
and when you pick one up
the bottle fall through the wet bottom
of the paper sack
rolling
clanking
spilling gray wet ash
and stale beer,
or the sacks fall over at 4 a.m.
in the morning
making the only sound in your life.

beer
rivers and seas of beer
the radio singing love songs
as the phone remains silent
and the walls stand
straight up and down
and beer is all there is.

#20
poetix8:23 pm, 29 Mar 12

Just got back from this. I still think Bukowski was not the world’s greatest poet, as the rather name-shy Steven, (I think? the youngish man with the longish hair who dresses quite conservatively), said in his introduction. And conclusion. Bukowski’s poem about bluebirds borders on the sticky slough of Hallmark, for instance. But his work reads out loud better than it does on the page, especially when done by someone like Kathy (spelling?) who could read ACT Assembly minutes and make them almost as exciting as Shakespeare.

And there is the exploration of the linking of the mundane and the sacred there, which appeals to a God-botherer like me. Peter Strong (Smith’s owner who supports so many events) read a poem inspired by Bukowski which was quite substantially cool. On the whole, it was a far gentler night than might have been expected, and that, in my opinion, is good.

Most of us just drank wine and pretended we were more interesting than we actually are. I, for example, wore a hat.

#21
smiling politely8:49 pm, 29 Mar 12

Thanks for the review.

poetix said :

…Most of us just drank wine and pretended we were more interesting than we actually are. I, for example, wore a hat.

So not too much different to the Beats at all, really.

#22
Jethro9:07 pm, 29 Mar 12

poetix said :

Just got back from this. I still think Bukowski was not the world’s greatest poet, as the rather name-shy Steven, (I think? the youngish man with the longish hair who dresses quite conservatively), said in his introduction. And conclusion. Bukowski’s poem about bluebirds borders on the sticky slough of Hallmark, for instance. But his work reads out loud better than it does on the page, especially when done by someone like Kathy (spelling?) who could read ACT Assembly minutes and make them almost as exciting as Shakespeare.

And there is the exploration of the linking of the mundane and the sacred there, which appeals to a God-botherer like me. Peter Strong (Smith’s owner who supports so many events) read a poem inspired by Bukowski which was quite substantially cool. On the whole, it was a far gentler night than might have been expected, and that, in my opinion, is good.

Most of us just drank wine and pretended we were more interesting than we actually are. I, for example, wore a hat.

Was it a nice hat?

#23
I-filed9:21 pm, 29 Mar 12

poetix said :

Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me;
The carriage held but just ourselves
And Immortality.

… … … … …

Since then ’tis centuries, and yet each
Feels shorter than the day
I first surmised the horses’ heads
Were toward eternity.

Philistine! You’ve totally misquoted this. You left off 28 of her (intentional) initial-capital letters.

#24
poetix9:45 pm, 29 Mar 12

Jethro said :

Most of us just drank wine and pretended we were more interesting than we actually are. I, for example, wore a hat.

Was it a nice hat?

Well, nice covers so many bases, doesn’t it? :
(a) I see it as nice in a ‘I’m a poet who shops at op-shops who has no awareness of her husband’s income’ sort of way. Ideal for a Bukowski reading!

(b) Yes, it is a nice hat. One of the gorgeous young women who works at Tilley’s told me so. Her casual comment made my day.

(c) It has shiny bits.

#25
Jethro10:17 pm, 29 Mar 12

poetix said :

Jethro said :

Most of us just drank wine and pretended we were more interesting than we actually are. I, for example, wore a hat.

Was it a nice hat?

Well, nice covers so many bases, doesn’t it? :
(a) I see it as nice in a ‘I’m a poet who shops at op-shops who has no awareness of her husband’s income’ sort of way. Ideal for a Bukowski reading!

(b) Yes, it is a nice hat. One of the gorgeous young women who works at Tilley’s told me so. Her casual comment made my day.

(c) It has shiny bits.

Was it eaten by a bear?

#26
astrojax7:33 am, 30 Mar 12

Jethro said :

poetix said :

Jethro said :

Most of us just drank wine and pretended we were more interesting than we actually are. I, for example, wore a hat.

Was it a nice hat?

Well, nice covers so many bases, doesn’t it? :
(a) I see it as nice in a ‘I’m a poet who shops at op-shops who has no awareness of her husband’s income’ sort of way. Ideal for a Bukowski reading!

(b) Yes, it is a nice hat. One of the gorgeous young women who works at Tilley’s told me so. Her casual comment made my day.

(c) It has shiny bits.

Was it eaten by a bear?

if so, let’s hope poetix wasn’t in it at the time…

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